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The Far Eastern Freight Conference will introduce a congestion charge of $145 per TEU for westbound cargo from Asia to the United Kingdom from Dec. 1.
The FEFC said the charge is necessary to recover costs incurred by lines due to chronic congestion at the country’s major terminals and inland network. Cargo carried into the United Kingdom by FEFC lines has increased by more than 15 percent year-on-year after eight months of 2007, averaging 485 TEUs per day.
“Together with substantial growth seen in other trades, this level of increase has created congestion not only at the major U.K. terminals, but has also caused congestion of the inland transport and delivery systems,” the London-based FEFC secretariat said in a statement.
“On occasions, lines have found it necessary to bypass U.K. ports and feed cargo to the U.K., and in some cases divert their vessels to non-scheduled ports and equalize the costs from these ports. This has created even more congestion for an infrastructure that is already overloaded. The infrastructure congestion has also made it very difficult to repatriate much needed empty containers to Asia.”
The FEFC said it will review the charge after 60 days and adjusted as necessary.